thoughts on Mark Leidner’s “the angel in the dream of our hangover”
June 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
When our virtual social interaction is limited to facebook status updates and 140 character tweets, the ability to produce memorable aphorisms is becoming a desirable trait. As I read Mark Leidner’s new book from Sator Press “the angel in the dream of our hangover,” I couldn’t help but think on almost every page, if this were a tweet I would favorite it. Because they sound like tweets. But after thinking more on it, what I realized is that I had it backwards; that rather, all tweets sound like aphorisms.
a question mark, like a glass blown exclamation point, takes the shape of love
First, let’s just acknowledge the imagistic movement in this example taken from Leidner’s book. We move from exclamation point, to question mark, to heart (love). What happens in my head is an entire cartoon sequence of a glass blower taking two exclamation points, blowing them each into question marks, then putting them together to form a heart. But does a clever simile make an aphorism (which isn’t to say it isn’t a magnificently clever and memorable simile)? What ends up being important here, for me, is the idea of text taking the shape of something. I want the whole aphorism to meta-refer to the art of aphoristic writing itself, and maybe even more generally, the art of writing. Text takes the shape of literal image takes the shape of emotion. I learn something about what makes good literature from this. Personally, if I had thought of the simile that a question mark is like a glass blown exclamation point, I wouldn’t be able to get over the excitement of what I had just thought of. Which is to say, I’m too novice or egotistical a writer to even think of trying to develop a context for it. I would probably just tweet it and feel happy for a while about it. But here is the difference between a tweet and an aphorism, the point at which depth and wisdom trump cleverness, the point where beauty and meaning intersect…